Public Health: By Any Memes Necessary

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Health | Influencer Marketing

The goal of the campaign was to encourage people to share public health messaging in the era of Covid-19 to combat pandemic fatigue and communicate complex issues that resonate. Using social media, we empowered our audience with messaging that would benefit personal and community health.


Public health messaging is complicated and constantly changing with new scientific discoveries, resulting in audience distrust.

This distrust was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic as public health experts and officials were tasked with convincing people to make inconvenient choices. In the beginning, people were willing to do their part to stop the spread, but fatigue quickly set in with dangerous consequences.

Our challenge was to help our client combat fatigue and take public health messaging seriously, understanding that the information would be ever-evolving.


Leaning into the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s unparalleled expertise in public health, we focused on using Instagram to communicate our message in a meme-friendly environment. We jumped into the social conversation, capitalizing on trends to bend public health messaging around, and iterated our content and approach in real-time as data informed our success.

We prioritized content that is proven to grow and engage an audience on Instagram, including explainer videos, slide shows, and memes, and targeted an audience matching the enrolment of enrollment of the school (70% women ages 24-35).


We leveraged health, holidays, and pop culture events to time our content for maximum impact, and designed the messaging to be clever and fun, while also actionable – encouraging vaccination or information sharing.

Our best performing examples include using the Drake album drop to explain how pregnant women were eligible for vaccination; using the “And Just Like That” premiere to show how just like friendship, public health never goes out of style; and during the holidays we used “Home Alone” to illustrate how vaccines and boosters worked against the Omicron variant.


We successfully transformed the way our audience thinks about public health messaging. Not only did we have tremendous results, but other prominent public health schools also imitated our approach to grow their own audiences.


Follower growth on Facebook and Instagram combined


Engagements on Facebook


Users reached on Facebook